Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are cultivated both for their culinary uses and their ornamental value. These small bulbous perennials feature attractive, pale lavender, globular flowers and thin, grass-like, dark green leaves which typically grow in clumps up to 12-18 inches (30-45 cm). With a strong onion or garlic scent, they are generally pest and disease free!
- Blooming in late spring - early summer, both flowers and leaves are edible. The flowers are perfect in salads while leaves are widely used as a culinary herb.
- Easy to grow, they thrive in fertile, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Add grit to clay soils to improve drainage. Drought tolerant.
- Lovely in border fronts, rock gardens, herb gardens, vegetable gardens and containers.
- To achieve an impressive visual effect, plant them in groups close together.
- Attracts butterflies, but deer ignore it!
- Easily grown from seed, they will self-seed if spent flower heads are not promptly deadheaded.
- The world of chives offers very attractive cultivars: ‘Forescate’ with beautiful rosy red flowers, 'Corsica' or 'albiflorum' with white flowers.
Many hundreds of Allium species exist, but only a modest few have made a name for themselves as garden plants. The ornamental onions distinguish themselves by their great diversity in color, inflorescence and flowering height. Many species bloom in early summer - just after the spring-flowering period and just before the exuberant full bloom of summer. All species can be used in the border. Certain small species are just perfect for a rock garden, and several lend themselves to naturalizing.